Benefits of exercise for controlling blood sugar level
Controlling your blood sugar level is crucial to prevent the long-term complications of diabetes . . . such as poor vision, nerve and kidney damage. Besides doing an upgrade to your diet, exercise is the next best thing to do. Exercise helps keep your blood sugar level in the correct range (70 mg/dL – 130 mg/dL).
People with poor blood sugar control are either not producing enough insulin to shuttle sugars out of the blood or their body is unable to use it correctly. This is where exercising helps. When you activate your muscles with a good workout, they will need more sugars to re-supply what is used up (glycogen). They won’t need insulin to do so and this lowers your blood sugar naturally.
What is your daily exercise regimen?
Exercising can be defined as an activity that’s done regularly to get fit or to maintain health and fitness. Engaging in an activity must raise your heart rate (HR) to a certain level and keep it there for a period of time. For example, riding a bicycle for 30 minutes after warming up . . . four days each week. It’s not running for the bus or mowing the lawn every 10 days. They are considered activity but they don’t raise your HR consistently.
If you are pre-diabetic and want to avoid the awful complications of full-blown diabetes then you must start on a daily regimen of targeted exercises to help control blood sugar level . . . without medication.
Other benefits of exercise for diabetics
There are a number of obvious benefits you get from starting a workout program besides lowering your blood sugar level.
- You will improve your respiration. Your breathing will become stronger and deeper. This will get more life-giving oxygen going throughout your body and enabling you to get rid of excess waste.
- Your body will get stronger. Your muscles will start to show more which helps build confidence and improve your posture.
- You will have more clarity of thinking – Your focus will get more laser-like.
- You will lose weight – You should not lose more than 2 pounds per week . . . until you reach your target weight.
- You will add more years to your life – Even with periodic backsliding you will live longer than the person who does little or no physical work.
- Your skin tone will improve – One of the main benefits of doing a consistent workout program is improved circulation. This is great for nourishing your body’s cells and removing waste. It will give you that natural glow that make-up won’t.
How to start a workout program
- After getting medical clearance you will need to get a personal trainer who can give you guidance. Explain your goals to them and be sure to let them know of any medical condition you have besides poor blood sugar level.
- If at all possible, get a friend to sign up with you. Many studies show that a workout partner will help motivate you.
- It’s important to set certain specific goals such as losing 8 pounds every four weeks or running in a 5K race in six months, or swimming ten laps after 5 months.
- Start your program slowly and build on it over time.
- Know how to use exercise equipment correctly.
- Keep a fitness journal to document your progress.
- It’s important to give your body quality rest and recovery.
- Maintain flexibility by doing a complete stretching routine regularly.
If you are pre-diabetic with an A1c over 5.6, exercising regularly will help balance your sugar level when done correctly and consistently. My A1c is bordering on 5.7 and I believe that if I was not a regular exerciser it would be in the diabetic range.
Follow the steps outlined above and get started today. I have documented my experiences with poor blood sugar and what I do to stay fit. Learn more at How to Prevent Pre-diabetes.